I’m asking you to leave… — 4 Comments

  1. Carol

    Your comments on the ATF have been spot on. I was a public member of the Lake Marion/Hampton ATF (a now extinct position from what I read). We complained constantly about the structure of our meetings and the muzzling of any real attempt to work on routing. As soon as the faciliator was introduced we knew that a we were all part of a choreographed event. The OES is required to have Task Forces. There is a box to check off just like the Scoping box, the Public Meeting box the ALJ Public Meeting box. When they are all checked, their public obligation has been met.There has never been an attempt in this CAPX routing to make the ATF a meaningful endeavor.

  2. Carol: An preliminary and heartfelt thanks, for your effort to bring together the experience and concerns of a wide number of task forces and citizens — in one place. The combination of direct citations and analysis are very helpful. I know the level of sacrifice this dogged commitment entails.

    The deterioration of the citizen advisory task force experience and function, is disturbing in the extreme. It undermines both the private and public interests, that it is the intention of the process established in statute to protect.

    The annual hearing that was put into statute to provide for a feedback mechanism to vet and improve public engagement under the Power Plant Siting Act — is not functioning as intended. I am deeply saddened to witness the deterioration of trust and respect in the working relationship between the agencies and the public.

    There is not a functional public adviser capacity at this time, that is — one that actively supports constructive and informed working relationships between agencies, proposers and the public. Legislative review of this function is in order.

    To your recent experience: the attempt to interfere with the long standing tradition of former citizen task force member support of new task forces — particularly in the context of a public meeting — is very troubling as well. The control and manipulation of essential information is what regulators and facilitators are there to prevent, not to inflict.

    Time to call our legislators, and take the issue of public access to and meaningful participation in these critical energy infrastructure decisions — to the legislature. I will work on a draft letter to my legislator, and encourage others to do the same. It is powerful to hear people’s stories. Thanks for sharing them.

    Kristen Eide-Tollefson, Florence Township, Goodhue Co. MN; CURE – Communities United for Responsible Energy; M.A. Humphrey Institute 2006 (Focus: “Public Engagement in Energy Policy Planning and Infrastructure Development”); Former EQB Citizen Advisory Task Force, (1995); Governor’s Special Advisory Committee (SAC) on Environmental Review (2002); Prairie Island PUC informal Task Force adviser (2008- Sig Anderson, representative for CURE); and informal regulatory process adviser to CETF (2008).

  3. P.S. My comment regarding the Public Adviser, is not meant to reflect upon the role or performance of any particular Public Adviser. The role has been constrained by statute and rule changes, such that the public adviser can now discuss process only. And can only give out information that a citizen asks for. Therefore, the citizens must already know what they need to know, in order to get the information they need to participate meaningfully. As a former task force member — who’s life and public education has been immeasurably enriched by the opportunity to participate “meaningfully” in EQB public processes — I yet have hope that Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again.

  4. I don’t know this guy Charlie, but he sounds like a piece of work.

    Truth is that agencies and corporations have been refining their techniques of manipulation and deception for decades, and the public and NGOs have in no way kept up. It is sad to see that Minnesota laws written to encourage strong participation are being mocked.

    Personally, I assign a great deal of blame to orgs like Fresh Energy, Ikes, Sierra Club, MCEA, etc, who have connived with utilities and bureaucrats to advocate particular policies and not been there when communities have to confront the consequences….

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